A campaign group and council are locked in a war of words over claims that the case for an incinerator is unsound.
Pressure group Glosvain is opposed to plans for the Javelin Park incinerator, near Gloucester, which Gloucestershire County Council’s intends to develop with Urbaser Balfour Beatty.
Glosvain commissioned Rebecca Colley-Jones, of consultant Ynys Resources, who is also chair of the Chartered Institution of Waste Management in Wales, to carry out an independent investigation of the council’s case.
She concluded that the incinerator would not comply with EU and UK law, that the council had seriously over-estimated future waste requirements and that the economic case for the installation had collapsed following the end of the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme (LATS).
Colley-Jones said the proposed incinerator would be so inefficient that it must be classified not as recovery but disposal, at the bottom of the waste hierarchy.
Glosvain said councils were legally obliged to move waste up the hierarchy but the Gloucestershire planned to “spend half a billion pounds to keep our waste at the bottom of the waste hierarchy for 25 years or more”.
It said the incinerator would burn unsorted commercial and industrial waste, including considerable quantities that could be recycled.
“Not only is this wrong, it is in contravention of EU law, which requires this waste to be pre-treated,” the group said following the report. “Through the burning process, the incinerator would create around eight times more hazardous waste than that which goes into the plant, and will dispose of this hazardous waste to landfill. This is again in breach of the Waste Hierarchy and EU and UK law.”
But the council cast doubt on the report’s integrity and conclusions.
Neither Glosvain nor Colley-Jones had contacted the council to check facts, it said.
A Gloucestershire council statement said it was “simply not true” that the incinerator would breach EU law, adding that its waste plans had been judged ‘sound’ by a planning inspector.
The council also denied that its economic justification was based on an assumption of LATS continuing.
Stan Waddington, the Gloucestershire cabinet member responsible for the project, said: “The bottom line is that this report is fundamentally flawed and full of misinterpretations and inaccuracies.
“It’s being labelled independent, but we have to be clear that it has been paid for by a campaign group which has made no secret of the fact that it is completely opposed to the plans.
“The fact that neither the campaign group nor the report’s authors contacted the council to ask any questions or check any facts is extremely suspicious.”
- The Environment Agency is to open a second round of consultation on 20 February on an environmental permit application for Javelin Park. It will run until 12 April. Agency environment manager Stuart Baker said: “Before we make a final decision, we wanted to give all interested parties an opportunity to discuss any queries or concerns they may have with us face to face.”
We hope you enjoyed the above article. To get unlimited access to all articles on mrw.co.uk you will need to have a paid subscription. Subscribe now save yourself 36% off the standard subscription rate.